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May 15, 2012 6:00am EDT
what is being taken. >> metal pipes, grounding plates, wire, gutters, browns -- bronzestatues. >> reporter: today baltimore police announced the first task force in the state to target metal thefts. >> the number of metal thefts has more than tripled since 2009. >> reporter: including a 450% increase in copper thefts. even though police say the 23 scrap metal recyclers cooperate with 27,000 transactions a month, it's often impossible to separate out what has been stolen. for homeowners the thefts are personal. >> it created the whole sense of vulnerability. >> reporter: it leaves costly repairs behind. >> when someone steals an air conditioner to get the copper coil out, they have to damage the entire air conditioner to get the small amount of copper within the air conditioner. >> reporter: bge is turning to green paint to mark its property. it makes it tougher to sell. >> it's a way to trace the product through the chain and improve the likelihood that we will find the people responsible. >> reporter: bge is a prime target for copper thieves. at $4 a pound power pools to subs
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